The headscarf debate is gaining a new, brutal dimension in Neukölln (Berlin): headscarf-wearing girls suddenly attack others, preferably blond students. The school administration and municipal school authority are very concerned.
Volker Steffens, head of the Thomas-Morus high-school says that twice girls with headscarves punched blond fellow students without headscarves, pushed them to the ground and kicked them. About 80% of the 500 students in the school are of foreign origin, representing 41 nations. The principal says that once a headscarf-wearing girl tried to set fire to the hair of another blond student, and that the victims are mostly Polish.
Rita Herrmanns of the Berlin school authority says that fundamentalist tendencies have been taking over in Berlin schools as well in recent years. Increasingly, more girls wear headscarves, more Muslim parents forbid their daughters from participating in class trips, swimming and sex-ed classes.
Principal Volker Steffens who sees the consequences on the front lines says that Islamist tendencies and direct racist attacks by girls are striking.
The victims are blond Polish girls since they’re Catholic and yet very liberal, and therefore embody everything that the headscarf-girls reject. Steffens says the reason for the conflict is often envy. The girls are banned from many things in their own strict religious upbringing at home, but in school they see other girls who are allowed more. They get jealous and want to beat up the children from more liberal families.
Volker Steffens sets limits to the violence and aggression and says that incidents are discussed with the students and dealt with, going from reprimands to being excluded from school events or from school.
Rita Herrmanns says that this is good, since the one thing that shouldn’t happen is to look the other way. This violence should be made public.